Penny Lane is a Sundance award-winning nonfiction filmmaker who was named one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012 and a Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Award winner in 2016.
Her most recent film NUTS! premiered at Sundance 2016, where it won a Special Jury Award for Editing. It has since screened at many other film festivals such as Hot Docs, Full Frame, Ashland, Maryland, Cleveland, Sarasota and BAFICI. The film is now in wide distribution.
Her debut feature-length documentary OUR NIXON premiered at Rotterdam 2013, had its North American premiere at SXSW, won the Ken Burns Award for “Best of the Festival” at Ann Arbor, and was selected as the Closing Night Film at New Directors/New Films. The film is in wide distribution, and has aired on CNN, ARTE France, and many other television outlets worldwide.
Penny’s films have also screened at AFI FEST, Antimatter, IMPAKT, Images Festival, Oberhausen, FLEX FEST, Hot Docs, Full Frame, Rooftop Films, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and many other venues. Penny has been awarded grants from Creative Capital, Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and Puffin Foundation. She was named “Most Badass!” at the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival in 2009.
Penny’s short films are distributed by VTAPE and include titles such as THE VOYAGERS (2010), THE COMMONERS (2009) and WE ARE THE LITTLETONS: A TRUE STORY. Her 2005 short THE ABORTION DIARIES has become an important organizing and educational tool across the nation. THE ABORTION DIARIES has screened in at least 42 states & worldwide at over 350 different community venues, ranging from bars to art centers to clinics to colleges, and also on Yes! Television and Free Speech TV. In 2006, Penny was given a Choice USA “Generation Award” for her work on this film.
She received her MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her BA in American Culture and Media Studies at Vassar College. She has taught film, video and new media art at Bard College, Hampshire College and Williams College. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, where she lives in a very old house and shows movies in her barn. And yes, Penny Lane is her real name (see FAQ).
Photo credit: Joseph Michael Lopez